Plant DetailShow Menu

Quercus nigra

Common Name(s):

Description

The Water Oak is a medium sized tree which is best grown in rich, humusy, acidic, medium to wet soils in full sun. The crown is broadly round and the lower limbs tend to droop and need need pruned up as the tree grows. It has been successfully grown in urban areas where air pollution, poor drainage, compacted soil, and/or drought are common. It is mildly salt tolerant, has a rapid growth rate and attracts wildlife. More weak-wooded which makes it more susceptible to wind and ice damage than most oaks.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Older trees susseptable to rot. Susceptibe to oak wilt, often with fatal consequences. Oaks, in general, are susceptible to a large number of diseases, including, chestnut blight, shoestring root rot, anthracnose, oak leaf blister, cankers, leaf spots and powdery mildew. Potential insect pests include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner, galls, oak lace bugs, borers, caterpillars and nut weevils.

Consider Planting Instead: Quercus rubra

Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#salt tolerant#street tree#showy fruits#wet sites#cpp#low flammability#deer resistant#acorns#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#salt tolerant#street tree#showy fruits#wet sites#cpp#low flammability#deer resistant#acorns#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Quercus
    Species:
    nigra
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    FL to e. TX, n. to NJ & s. MO Moist forests and waterways
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Mildly resistant to damage by deer.  Host plant for Banded Hairstreak, Edward's Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, White-M Hairstreak, Horace's Duskywing, Juvenal's Duskywing butterflies and many moths. Acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, blue jays, ducks, small mammals, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and black bears.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/2-inch acorn with a flat, scaled cap that covers about 1/3 the nut. The acorn requires two growing seasons to reach maturity.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Cylindrical male flowers and female spikes
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Obovate
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-4 inch green leaves can vary in shape but most tend toward spatulate with up to 2-5 lobes. The leaves are dull bluish-green above and paler and pubescence beneath. Leaves may persist throughout the winter in zones 8 & 9.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    The bark is dark and quite tight, smooth when young and later with irregular rough patches; much later developing wide, scaly ridges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Smooth/Hairless
    Stem Description:
    Slender, red-brown stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Deer
    Fire
    Pollution
    Salt
    Wet Soil